Saving Our Saucepans

San Francisco was a beautiful town in 1917 – at least, for everyone but Irwin Cox. An aluminum cookware salesman, Cox was having a tough time convincing housewives of the value of his product.

Desperate for a gimmick that would pan out, Ed dipped small steel wool pads into a soapy solution to use as a premium. “If I can help get stuck food off pans, women will buy more of my merchandise,” he reasoned.

From then on Irwin gave out one pad with each purchase. Soon sales were really cooking, as calls began coming in for more pads. Just pads. Too many, in fact, for Cox to make in his kitchen.

Knowing a bright idea when he saw it, Irwin left the pan business far behind. His wife, seeing the new product lacked a name, suggested “Save Our Saucepans”, or SOS for short.

Today, SOS’s fresh-scrubbed approach is responsible for an industry. Irwin’s saucy approach to sales had worked, and helped him to clean up.

Financially speaking that is.